Hi! I’m Booker and here’s my story.
In April of 2010 the police came to my house and did a drug bust. I guess once they do that, dogs like me usually end up at this place called a shelter or animal control. They made me stay there for a few days and they kept saying I was aggressive, so they were going to put me to sleep.
This nice lady who worked there thought I was special though and she knew she could help me. So she saved me with a rescue called Adopt-a-Bull, and took me home to be a foster dog. There were a lot of dogs at her house and I think it helped me get used to being in a good place.
After about 4 months my foster parents decided it was time to find a forever home for me. One home brought me back. I’m still not sure why; I was being a good boy.
Then I met my Mama. She came to see me, and then came back and took me to the park. I love rolling in the grass because we don’t have a lot of that here in Tucson. After the park, she took me back to my foster home but on the way there, she pulled over and told me she thought I was special too. I gave her a big kiss.
I had to have a sleepover to make sure the cats liked me and I was good. I even got to go to another park and watch a soccer game. Two days later, I went home!
Things were great! I had to go to class to learn not to pull on my leash — I went by myself because other dogs still kind of bothered me. My Mama said I learn very fast and that it was time to go to class with other dogs. I learned very fast in that one too, and the other dogs weren’t so bad either. Pretty soon I was out of classes to go to at that place. My Mama was so proud of me!
I was happy at my new home, then my Mama got sick. She has these things called seizures and was gone for a while in the hospital. I kept trying to tell her I felt funny when the seizures came too, but she didn’t listen to me. I’m not a fan of barking so I would just lick her and lick her. She would tell me to stop but I wouldn’t listen because she wasn’t listening to me. All I could do when the seizures came was stand over her until she woke up. Sometimes I would sit on her too. Mama was very weak after her seizure so I always helped her back to the couch so she wouldn’t fall again.
Finally Mama started listening to me and back to school we went. Now I am a service dog! I go with my Mama everywhere and I wear this funny vest. (I don’t mind though it reminds me that I am working to help her.) Sometimes we would ride the bus and people would be scared of me but now we have a car because I can tell Mama to pull over if she is going to have a seizure. Luckily I haven’t had to do that yet because I really like our car and I don’t want them to take it away again. They say I give my Mama independence, whatever that means.
I have another job too. I am a Pit N Proud Ambass-a-dog. I go to a bunch of things to show people that pit bulls are good dogs too. I share my story with everyone and talk about how I help my mom. I may have come from a scary situation but now I have to make sure other dogs have the chance to be happy like me. My mama and foster mama tell me I change people’s minds about dogs like me. But I love my jobs because I get to make new friends, like this is a little girl I met at the Book Festival in October. I made my Mama go see her. She has to be in a special chair and her mama says she has seizures too. I made her laugh when I kissed her hand.
My new friend learned to pet me nicely. I didn’t mind when she was patting my head hard but her Mama said not all dogs are as nice as me. That’s why although I still like people better than dogs, I know I have a job to do. I think some people are scarier than dogs because they don’t want dogs like me around. I hope I can help more people feel differently about that.
In November, I was officially diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis. This means my larynx does not open all the way and therefore I cannot breathe correctly. I have so many new friends and they have all been so supportive. My family raised a lot of money for my care and I had my surgery on Monday November 19th. I’m now in recovery and doing better than ever.
Come follow my adventure on my Facebook page, Booker the Pit Bull Service Dog, where I will forever promote positive responsible dog ownership, prove that Pit Bulls are not monsters, and that all dogs deserve a second chance at a good life. I will also continue to support our local shelter Pima Animal Care Center as well as rescue groups to help save dogs like me!
I am Booker. I am a service dog. I am an Ambass-a-Dog. I am Strength. I am Courage. I am Loyalty. I am Love. Thanks for reading my story!
Editor’s Note: On August 12, 2014, Booker crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. He took a turn for the worse and his brokenhearted mama made the hardest, kindest decision she could make. Booker’s mama wrote: “He was an exuberant boy with a huge tongue, tiny ears, a sparkle in his eye and a typical big ole’ blockhead. It turns out the biggest thing was actually his heart.”
Although we are not ready to say goodbye, we know Booker is now pain-free. You will truly be missed, Booker.